Light pollution is just one of the problems coastal ecosystems face

Introducing ALICE, ACRUISE, and DARE-UK

 

Three exciting new projects have been given the go ahead this week, as PML scientists take on a number of important topics, from light pollution, to the effects of greenhouse gas and ship emissions on our atmosphere.

The projects, all backed by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) with funding totalling almost £1million, include: ACRUISE (Atmospheric Composition and Radiative forcing changes due to UN Ship Emissions regulations) is led by PML and will study the atmospheric changes resulting from UN regulations on ship emissions; ALICE (Artificial Light in Coastal Ecosystems), led by Bangor University, involves PML scientists and will investigate the effects our own lights can have on life in the coastal marine world; and DARE-UK (Detection and Attribution of Regional greenhouse gas Emissions in the UK), led by University of Bristol and also involving PML, will look to further our understanding of greenhouse gas emissions along the UK’s coasts.

Dr Ming-Xi Yang, chemical oceanographer and lead scientist for the ACRUISE project, said: “To many, the phrase ‘a cruise’ probably conjures an image of a luxury trip at sea, and a research expedition to oceanographers. With ACRUISE, using noses by the sea and eyes in the sky, we will better understand the impacts of ship emissions and planned policy changes on our atmosphere.”

Dr Tim Smyth, Head of Science at PML, said of ALICE: “Artificial light at night (ALAN) can now be detected above 22% of the world’s coasts, and will dramatically increase as coastal human populations more than double by year 2060. There is potential for ALAN to reshape the ecology of coastal habitats, so with the ALICE project, we will be bringing together expertise in bio-optics, remote sensing, modelling and ecology in order to assess the impacts of our humanity’s night-lights on the ocean.”

Dr Yuri Artoli, marine ecosystem modeller and lead scientist at PML for DARE-UK, said: “The project aims to improve the estimates of greenhouse gas emissions from different UK sectors – this is vital information for the UK government to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change, something that affects us all. We’re really excited to contribute to a project where, for the first time, we can use data collection and modelling to better understand the important contribution of coastal environments to national greenhouse gas emission.”

NERC Associate Director of Research Ned Garnett said: “The highlight topics programme allows us to receive ideas from both the research community and users of environmental science to ensure that we are providing funding where it is most needed. The provision of top quality environmental research has never been more essential as we continue to tackle some of the greatest environmental challenges of our time.”

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